Archive for January, 2012

At the end of the previous entry, I promised that this one would carry the story along by discussing the flowering of holism in the early 20th century. I soon realized, however, that I’d missed an important step in the development of the association between horizontalism and creative imagination — so I need to backtrack and deal with that before I move on.

When creative imagination started hanging out with horizontalism in the 1970’s, the relationship initially took shape within the terms of multiculturalism, and its chief exponents were neo-pagans and chaos magicians. But in recent years, the same association has been most apparent in the context of direct democracy, and its leading devotees are now computer hackers and self-professed pirates.

That may seem like a natural progression when viewed from the perspective of creative imagination — especially since there has always been a significant overlap between magicians and hackers — but from the viewpoint of horizontalism, the underlying dynamic is far more complex.

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As I’ve been tracing out the history of the chaos vision, I’ve come to a number of conclusions which affect my understanding of the development of the visions in general. Most strikingly, I’ve started realizing that the interactions among visions — which I’ve compared in the past to a Rube Goldberg device because of their seemingly chaotic nature — actually function with the precision and regularity of clockwork.

This comes as a surprise to me — but it probably shouldn’t. Rube Goldberg devices, after all, achieve the illusion of an effortless cascade of random impacts only through an exacting adjustment of angles and timing.

It does mean, however, that instead of viewing each individual vision as being bound from the start upon its own relatively fixed course, I’m going to have to reconceive of the entire system of visions as a single, elaborate piece of machinery whose evolution is subject to constant modification through the ongoing interactions of its parts.

That’s a challenge — so perhaps the best way to start is by pausing, taking stock, and devoting the next several entries to chronicling the various relationships that each vision experiences in the course of its lifetime.

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